FRASERVILLE, ON — Horse racing is a family pursuit in the Killen household, and when Kor Mel Lil Lady steps up to the gate in her second Gold Elimination on Saturday evening at Kawartha Downs, the Hampton residents will all be on hand cheer her on.

William Killen trains Kor Mel Lil Lady, a second generation product of the family’s small breeding operation, and shares ownership on the two-year-old trotting miss with his wife Brenda and youngest daughter Melissa. Melissa says the family has had high hopes for the filly since she was a foal trotting alongside her mother Kor Mel Glory.

“Right from day one she looked really nice,” says the 22 year old, whose name makes up one half of the Kor Mel prefix, along with her older sister Kori. “Even when we first broke her, she did everything perfectly.”

Kor Mel Lil Lady made her debut on the Kawartha Downs oval in a July 19 qualifier, trotting to a third-place finish in 2:03.1. The Malabar Maple daughter made her Ontario Sires Stakes debut in the July 28 Gold Eliminations at Mohawk Racetrack and finished seventh, but made history as the first horse the Killen’s have ever started in the provincial program.

The filly made her second lifetime start on Aug. 12 at Kawartha and garnered her first victory with a solid 2:00.3 effort for driver Doug Brown. Brown will be back in the race bike on Saturday, sending the filly after a top three finish from Post 4 in the third race.

“We like the four-hole, she’s been right in behind the car before,” notes Killen, who works for Brown. “And it’s a short field, that’s kind of nice too.”

Only five fillies will square off against Kor Mel Lil Lady, and her owners are hoping she can employ the same strategy that landed her in the winner’s circle on Tuesday — hustle off the gate into position and then sprint down the stretch.

“She’s perfect behind the gate. She pretty much does whatever you want,” says the youngest Killen. “She’s handy off the gate, but she’s still got that pop at the end.”

The Hampton residents are also hoping familiarity with the Kawartha oval will serve as an advantage for their dainty trotter. In addition to one qualifier and one race, Kor Mel Lil Lady has been trained and schooled at the Fraserville track on many occasions.

“I think she should be a lot better there at Kawartha,” surmises Killen. “We took her down and trained her and schooled her and everything there, so she’s used to it.”

All five fillies Kor Mel Lil Lady and Brown will face in the second $40,000 Gold Elimination are seasoned Gold Series competitors, including Novelty AS, who heads into the race off a 1:59.2 win in the Aug. 10 Robert Stewart Stakes at Mohawk and will start to their right at Post 5.

The reigning Gold Final champion Cumin First will try to extend her unbeaten streak to five from Post 2 in the first race.

Post time for Kawartha Downs’ Saturday evening program is 7 pm, and the two-year-old trotting fillies will square off in Races 1, 3, and 5. The top three finishers from each elimination will earn a return invitation to Kawartha for the $120,000 Gold Final on Aug. 23.

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